When Sharon Hammel and Catherine De León signed up to participate in Seattle International Foundation’s (SIF) Women’s Delegation to Guatemala, they did not expect to get to see a piece of history unfold before their eyes.
In April, SIF hosted an eight-person women’s delegation trip to Guatemala. Over the course of a week, the women traveled across the country visiting rural communities and non-profits that work to promote women’s equality and support women’s leaders. They also met with the former president of the Supreme Court and the country’s Attorney General, as well as US officials and local human rights leaders.
But for Cathy and Sharon the highlight would come the last day of their visit. That morning, they would put on nametags, pack their cameras and pass security checkpoints in order to finally make their way into the courtroom. The 350-seat auditorium was filled with international observers, activists, journalists, and indigenous Guatemalans. Sitting on the left-hand side, was former dictator Efrain Rios Montt.